By: Hussein Mansour
They marched seriously and unleashed their feet with all
vigor in order to speed up their steps. They reached a hill
that grew densely with beautiful and fruitful trees, and
overlooked the adjacent valley, from where Jaafar, Bakir and
Their breaths competed with the tree branches that danced
with the wind. Now they are distanced from the peril that
threatened their lives and the situation requires a rest
before they can reach their destination.
The atmosphere was overwhelmed by silence and tranquility.
However, they could hear a sound that would somehow grow
higher to go lower until it disappeared: "FIRRR… FIRRR…
That sound worried them; they never heard anything like it
in that particular place. They will not rest until they are
reassured and had to eliminate doubt by certainty.
The sound returned to dispatch its calls and glimmers. The
men spread and each one took a different side. The sound
came clearer and clearer. It was the sound of a wing's
strong flapping with a consecutive chirping.
Jaafar: "Examine closely the tree branches. I believe there
is an ongoing battle between two birds."
Ali: "Perhaps this is true, but we must make sure and must
not neglect or overlook the source of this sound."
Bakir was walking in front of them. Suddenly he stopped and
bent to insert his head between the branches. He saw a fig
bird with its wing stuck to the birdlime on the branch and
was flapping his other wing strongly hopping this will free
it from its dilemma. Ali and Jaafar approached Bakir. The
bird would rest for a short time to restart its attempt
again. All its attempts to release itself from the birdlime
failed. The bird was scared and confused thinking that Bakir
was the executioner who came to take its life.
The bird's shine and glimmer vanished and its happiness with
the fig turned into a great fear from that merciless
birdlime, which was the frivolous hunter that would easily
prey on that little bird and work as a camp for torture and
slow death. This is a kind of tyranny and criminality that
work as an open gate to conscienceless.
Jaafar: "Human beings are very cruel. They assigned seasons
and times for catching and killing birds. They let them
multiply to kill them as a sign of hobby and luxury. Their
pleasures have no limits."
Ali: "Torture is odious and ugly. It is one the tasks of the
Bakir: "We must not be blamed for the doings of others. We
are facing perils by confronting the aggressive Zionists.
However, we do not fear them, yet I feel sorry for that
bird. It has been in agony ever since I saw it."
Bakir reached after the bird to look like someone offering a
helping hand. He said to the bird: "Don't be afraid. I will
not harm you. I want to give you your dear freedom. Look at
me, I do not have any knife or cage. I am only giving you my
love. Your remedy lies within my hands. Be calm and let me
do my work."
The bird was somehow disturbed when Bakir touched it.
However, it responded to the treating doctor. Bakir's hands
started operating like the hands of a great and expert
surgeon who was careful. He was like a surgeon who was
removing a cancerous tumor from a sensitive organ. He would
free each piece of feather from the damned birdlime will
carefulness and accuracy.
Ali: "I am only hoping that you do not make this operation
more difficult. Birdlime is a tight trap and freeing from it
is very difficult."
Bakir: "I am certain of success. I want you both to help me
succeed. Should that hunter return to examine his trap, I am
only wishing that he will find it empty and that he will
return disappointed and defeated. He must realize that these
small vulnerable birds are stronger than his cunning and the
harshness of his birdlime."
Jaafar: "If we neglect the birdlime and let it torture this
bird, this process of bird catching will spread widely and
the life of the birds will turn into constant torture. This
bird forced us deal with a difficult and critical situation.
The bird is in your hands O Bakir. You will save it God
Bakir gave it another attempt and the bird succumbed. So
Bakir used all his knowledge slowly and accurately. After a
few worrying and tiring hours he managed free the bird.
Bakir saw the freedom inside the eyes of the bird that
flapped its wings as it was within Bakir's hands. Bakir
brought the bird nearer to him, kissed it on its little
head, showed it to Ali and Jaafer, raised his arms and
opened his hands to release it freely in the sky. The bird
circled around the three brothers as a gesture of
appreciation, flapped its wings and flew away to its
Bakir bent down and dug a hole in the ground to rise again,
catch the birdlime and bury it inside that hole.
The summer returned. The figs ripened. The nature crowded
with birds that began singing, flapping, landing, flying and
following the path of Bakir and his brothers. They caught
their breaths by the branches, flowers and fields, to reach
in the end a fountain where they washed for prayers and lied